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The Quest for family

By Producer Christian Mahne for CNN



Does genetics or upbringing have more impact on a person's personality?
or View Results


Gene Simmons
John Gotti

(CNN) -- Whether you call it a clan, a network or a tribe, we are all part of one. For this month's show, we're on a Quest for family.

Finding out just what makes us tick takes Richard on a journey of discovery through science, psychology ... and speed.

We cross the Atlantic to meet the Andretti family -- Mario, revered as the best racing driver of all time, son Michael and grandson Marco. Michael and Marco have both followed in Mario's tire tracks and together they've bagged just about every major motor racing trophy to be won.

So is talent based on nature or nurture? Is the need for speed inherited or acquired? Watch Richard find out for himself as he takes to the tarmac.

Then it's to Los Angeles to meet legendary Kiss frontman Gene Simmons and his partner Shannon Tweed. "Happily Unmarried" for over 20 years, Gene and Shannon believe in family life -- their way. Together with their two children they are the stars of a hit new reality TV show, but even this thoroughly modern family is built on very traditional foundations.

Family takes on a whole new meaning when we visit the Gottis. That name struck fear into a generation of New York mobsters. The late "Dapper Don" John Gotti ruled the Gambino crime family with an iron fist and held his daughter Victoria in a velvet glove.
Mario, Marco and Michael Andretti: three generations of racing car drivers.

When her father died while in jail it was up to Victoria to rule the roost. So did she carry on the family tradition or have her wayward children got the better of her?

Talking of children, twice the fun or twice the headache? Richard is seeing double at the world famous Twins Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio. It's the largest gathering of its kind in the world.

Twins from all over the world make a pilgrimage once a year to hang out and talk the business of twos. Richard's there to find out why it's such a popular event and tries to get to the bottom of that secret bond between siblings.

Twice the fun or twice the headache? Richard with identical twins Debbie and Lisa Ganz

We follow one set of twins back to New York. Sassy pair Debbie and Lisa Ganz say their business is being a twin. They run a movie and TV casting agency for twins. A Web site where long lost twins can reunite and they even owned a restaurant in Manhattan called Twins where all the staff were identical twins. No surprise that the Ganz sisters sign all their letters "Twincerely..."

Making sense of it all, we talk to one of the world's foremost family psychologists Dr. Robert Needlman. He's on hand to help Richard unravel the mysteries of family dynamics. Why siblings behave as they do, what characteristics they share and why we have this desire to connect with our past. Does Richard behave like a typical youngest child? Dr. Needlman will tell us.

And finally, Richard takes a moving journey to connect with his own family roots. As immigrants to the North of England, Richard's ancestors arrived in a new country with a new name and new hopes. We follow Richard on his voyage of discovery into the ties that bind on this month's Quest for Family.

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